4.1 General context
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Main challenges to social inclusion
The main challenges related to social inclusion of young people in Lithuania are youth unempoyment and integration in the labour market, non-formal education and youth entrepreneurship. Socially excluded young people usually come from socially vulnerable families; from families whose parental rights were limited; from orphanages; youth living in remote/rural areas; children of migrant workers and immigrants; children of ethnic minorities; young people with any physical or mental disabilities; unemployed young people. Youth unemployment rates in Lithuania are generally higher than unemployment for other age groups and young people are twice as likely to be unemployed as the adult population. Employment prospects of the young people are considerably affected by their gender, educational attainment and previous work experience (difficulties to meet the requirements of employers, lack of skills (esp. foreign languages, computer literacy). Lithuania has a rather low number of early school leavers as the majority number of youth of 18-19 years old are studying in general education schools or have an opportunity to acquire secondary education with professional qualification in vocational training schools. The youth unemployment rate has been high in Lithuania even in periods of low unemployment of the total population (according to Eurostat, youth unemployment rate in Lithuania was around 16 percent in 2016 but it averaged 22.50 percent from 1998 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 36.2 percent in 2010 and a record low of 7.60 percent in 2007). Young people face higher risk to become unemployed because of lack of working experience and difficult transitions from education to working life. Mismatches between educational and labour market supply determines a number of over-qualified and under-qualified youth, who are not able to find appropriate employment. Unsuccessful integration into the labour market and lack of employment are one of the most important negative factors influencing the emergence of many other youth problems, i.e. social exclusion, spread of addictive behaviour, incapacity to pay for studies and purchase housing. Cosequently, economic emigration is prelevant among young people because of the obstacles in home labour market. According to Eurostat data, there are 80-90 thousand of young persons not in education, employment or training in Lithuania. The majority of young unemployed persons registered in public employment services do not have adequate professional qualifications or work experience and experience social risk, live in remote localities and/or are in difficult economic and family situation. Many NEETS have limited social skills or exibit tendency to asocial behavior. Frequently alongside special needs, many NEETS suffer from emotional and behavioural disorders.
Definitions and concepts
Socially excluded are young people: 1) from families, that are socially vulnerable; 2) from families whose parental rights are limited; 3) from orphanages; 4) living in rural areas; 5) children of migrant workers and immigrants; 6) children of ethnic minorities 7) young people with any physical or mental disabilities; 8) those who are unemployed.